Obrázky stránek

from his Maker's presence, but such as proceed from divine wrath and indignation !

We may assure ourselves, that the great Author of nature will not always be as one who is indifferent to any of his creatures. Those who will not feel him in his love, will be sure at length to feel him in his displeasure. And how dreadful is the condition of that creature, who is ondy sensible of the being of his Creator by what he suffers from him ! He is as essentially present in hell as in heaven; but the inhabitants of those accursed places behold him only in his wrath, and shrink within the flames to conceal themselves from him. It is not in the power

of imagination to conceive the fearful effects of Omnipotence incensed.

But I shall only consider the wretchedness of an intellectual being, who, in this life, lies under the displeasure of him, that at all times and in all places is intimately united with him. He is able to disquiet the foul, and vex it in all its faculties. He can hinder any of the greatest comforts of life from refreshing us, and give an edge to every one of its flightest calamities. Who then can bear the thought of being an outcast from his

prefence, that is, from the comforts of it, or of feeling it only in its terrors How pathetic is that expoftulation of job, when, for the trial of his patience, he was made to look upon himself in this deplorable condition! Why haft thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am become a burden to myself? But, Thirdly, How happy is the condition of that intellectual being, who is sensible of his Maker's presence from the secret effects of liis mercy and loving-kindness !

The blessed in heaven behold him face to face, that is, are as sensible of his presence as we are of the presence of any person whom we look upon with our eyes. There is doubtless a faculty in fpirits, by which they apprehend one another, as our senses do material objects, and there is no question but our fouls, when they are disembodied, or placed in glorified bodies, will by this faculty, in whatever part of space they reside, be always sensible of the divine presence. We, who have this veil of flesh standing between us and the world of spirits, must be content to know that the Spirit of God is


present with us, by the effects which he produceth in us. Our outward senses are too gross to apprehend him; we may however taste and see how gracious he is, by his in. fluence upon our minds, by those virtuous thoughts which he awakens in us, by those secret comforts and refreshments which he conveys into our souls, and by those savishing joys and inward satisfactions which are perpetually springing up, and diffusing themselves among all the thoughts of good men. He is lodged in our very effence; and is as a soul within the soul, to irradiate its understanding, rectify its will, purify its passions, and enliven all the powers of man. How happy therefore is an intellectual being, who, by prayer and meditation, by virtue and good works, opens this communication between God and his own soul! Though the whole creation frowns upon him, and all nature looks black about him, he has his light and support within him, that are able to chear his mind, and bear him up in the midst of all those horrors which encompass him. He knows that his helper is at hand, and is always nearer to him than any thing else can be, which is capable of annoying or terrifying him. In the midst of calumny or contempt, he attends to that Being who whispers better things within his soul, and whom he looks upon as his defender, his glory, and the lifter-up of his head. In his decpelt folitude and retirement, he knows that he is in company with the greatest of beings; and perceives within himself such real fensations of his presence, as are more delightful than any thing that can be met with in the conversation of his creatures. Even in the hour of death, he confiders the pains of his diffolution to be nothing else but the breaking down of that partition which stands betwixt his soul and the light of that Being, who is always present with him, and is about to manifest itself to him in fulness of joy.

If we would be thus happy, and thus sensible of our Maker's presence, from the secret effects of his mercy and goodness, we must keep such a watch over all our thoughts, that, in the language of the scripture, his soul may have pleasure in us. We must take care not to grieve his holy Spirit, and endeavour to make the meditations of our hearts always acceptable in his fight, that he may delight


thus to reside and dwell in us. The light of nature could direct Seneca to this doctrine, in a rery remarkable pasfage among his epiftles : Sacer inest in nobis Spiritus, bonorum malorumque custos et observator; et quemadmodum nos illum tractamus, ita et ille nos. " There is a • holy spirit residing in us, who watches and observes both good and evil men, and will treat us after the same man

ner that we treat him.' But I shall conclude this dif. courfe with those more emphatical words in divine rerelation, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and 1729 Father will love him, and we will come unto him, andi make our abode with him.

N° 572.

Monday, July 26.

----- Quod medicorum eft Promittunt 1726 dici-----

Hor. Ep. 1. 1. 2. v. 115.

Physicians only boast the kcaling art.

AM the more pleased with these my papers, since i I

find they have encouraged sereral men of learning and wit to become my correspondells. I yesterday received the following essay ágainst quacks, which I shall here communicate to my readers for the good of the public, begging the writer's pardon for those additions and retrenchments which I have made in it.




HE defire of life is so natural and strong a pasion,

that I have long since ceased to wonder at the great encouragement which the practice of physic finds among

Well-constitud governments have always made the profession of a pryfician both honourable and advantage

Homer's Nachaon and l'irgil's lapis were men of renown, heroes in war, and made at least as much havoc among their enemies as among their friends. Those who have little or no faith in the abilities of a quack, will apply themselves to him, ciner because he is willing to fell health at a reasonable prot, or because the patient, like a drowning man, catches at every twig, and hopes for reVOL, VIII.



lief from the most ignorant, when the most able physicians give him none. Though impudence and many words are as necessary to these itinerary Galens as a laced hat or a Mer mg clrdreru, yet thcy would turn very little to the advantage of the owner, if there were not some inward difpofie tion in the sick man to favour the pretensions of the mountebank. Love of life in the one, and of money in the other, creates a good correspondence between them.

There is scarce a city in Great Britain but has one of this tribe, who takes it into his protection, and on the anarket-day harangues the good people of the place with aphorisms and receipts. You may depend upon it, he comes not there for his own prirate interest, but out of a particular affection to the town. I remember one of thofc public-spirited artists at Hammersmith, who told his audience, " That he had been born and bred there, and

that having a special regard for the place of his nativity, he was determined to make a present of five shil

lings to as many as would accept of it.' The whole croud stood agape, and ready to take the doctor at his word; when putting his hand into a long bag, as every one was expecting his crown-piece, he drew out an handful of little packets, each of which he informed the spectators was constantly sold at five shillings and sixpence, but that he would bate the odd five shillings to every inhabitant of that place : the whole assembly immediately closed with this generous offer, and took off all his physic, after the doctor had made them vouch for one another, that there were no foreigners among them, but that they were all Humersmith men.

There is another branch of pretenders to this art, who, without either horse or pickle-herring, lie snug in a garret, and send down notice to the world of their extraordinary parts and abilities by printed bills and advertisements. These seem to hare derived their custom from an Eastern nation which Herodotus speaks of, among whom it was a law, that whenever any cure was performed, both the method of the cure, and an account of the distemper, should be fixed in some public place; but as customs will corrupt, these our moderns provide themselves of persons to attest the cure, before they publish or make an experiment of the prescriptions. I have heard of a porter, who


serves as a knight of the post under one of these operators, and, though he was never fick in his life, has been cured of all the diseases in the dispensary. These are the men whose fagacity has invented elixirs of all sorts, pills and lozenges, and take it as an affront if you come to them before you are given over by every body else. Their medicines “are infallible, and never fail of success,” that is, of enriching the doctor, and setting the patient effectually at rest.

I LATELY dropped into a coffee-house at Westminster, where I found the room hung round with ornaments of this nature,

There were elixirs, tinctures, the Anodine Fotus, English pills, electuaries, and, in short, more remedies than I believe there are diseases. At the fight of so many inventions, I could not but imagine myself in a. kind of arsenal or magazine, where store of arms was reposited against any sudden invasion. Should you be attacked by the enemy side-ways, here was an infallible piece of defensive armour to cure the pleurisy: should a distemper beat up your hcad-quarters, here you might purchase an impenetrable helmet, or, in the language of the artist, a cephalic tincture: if your inain body be assaulted, here are various kinds of armour in case of various onsets. I began to congratulate the present age upon the happiness men

might reasonably hope for in life, when death was thus in a manner defeated, and when pain itself would be of so short a duration, that it would but just serve to enhance the value of pleasure : while I was in : these thoughts, I unluckily called to mind a story of an ingenious gentleman of the last age, who lying violently afflicted with the gout, a person came and offered his serevice to cure him by a method, which he assured him was. infallible; the servant who received the message carried it up to his master, who inquiring whether the person came on foot or in a chariot; and being informed that he was

: ; "Go,” says he, “ send the knave about his bu«s finess: was his method as infallible as he pretends, he would long before now have been in his coach and fix.” In like manner I concluded, that had all these advertisers arrived to that skill they pretend to, they would have had no need for so many years successively topublish to the world the place of their abode, and the vir

F 2

on foot


« PředchozíPokračovat »